Legal News
 


Legal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rights



An up-to-date list of judicial nominees

Confirmation Watch



The Archives

Legal Updates 2001

 


 

Legal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on constitutional law and supreme court cases and individual freedoms and individual rightsLegal news and legal updates on

Other Noteworthy Cases


LEGAL UPDATE INDEX:
Click on the links below to learn about the latest legal issues affecting individual freedoms: U.S. Supreme CourtFirst Amendment Cases
Other Noteworthy CasesJester's Courtroom

Below are periodic updates on selected cases affecting individual rights and individual Freedoms.

McLawsuit Reheated: It Doesn't Taste Any Better

The McFatties are back. A month after a federal district judge dismissed their class action lawsuit against McDonald's, a group of overweight children and their parents filed a new complaint against the fast food giant maintaining that Ronald, Grimace and the Hamburglar must pay up for childhood obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease...[more]

Second Amendment Showdown in the 9th Circuit Cloakroom

In a new Second Amendment ruling issued by the 9th Circuit on Tuesday, three of Reinhardt’s brethren, Judges Arthur L. Alarcón, Ronald M. Gould and Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, took the highly unusual step of criticizing a fellow sitting jurist in a published legal opinion for the entire world to see...[more]

GAO Drops Lawsuit Aimed at Forcing Vice President Cheney To Disclose Energy Task Force Information

It has been 30 years since Watergate and a time when the public eye closely watched a court battle between the executive branch and Congress over disclosure of documents.  In 1973, the special prosecutor investigating secretly recorded conversations in the Oval Office subpoenaed the tape recordings.  President Nixon refused to release them, asserting executive privilege and a risk to national security.  Some of the political backlash from Watergate resulted in the erosion of the doctrine of executive privilege...[more]

The Road to Democracy Starts at the Schoolhouse Door; Teaching our Children Beyond the “Three Rs”

Gone are simpler days when students were taught the “Three Rs” — reading, writing and arithmetic.  Today, the schools confront children with complicated social algorithms involving issues such as dress codes, bans on “junk food,” zero tolerance disciplinary policies, and political correctness.  Undoubtedly, these “educational” changes have come at the expense of more objective lessons that might actually improve academic performance.  But, more importantly, the “new curriculum” has sacrificed vigorous public education founded on free expression...[more]

The Methodology of Frivolous Lawsuits
(The Short Version)

When a federal judge threw out one of the baseless lawsuits against McDonald’s last week, John Banzhaf, the blustery plaintiff’s attorney and George Washington University Law School professor involved in bringing the case, told MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, “You don’t think we’ll find some judge somewhere…who’s going to buy it and let it go to a jury?  You may not like it…but we’ll find a judge…and then we’ll find a jury.”

As a justification for putting judges on the bench who will stop the systematic abuse of our legal system, no further words are necessary.  Mr. Banzhaf, Esquire, is an unusual plaintiff’s attorney only in the openness of his cynical exploitation.

McLawsuit Deep Fried
Judge Dismisses Fat Case Against the Golden Arches

Eating a Big Mac a day does not keep the doctor away — everyone knows that … or, at the very least, should know that, according to a federal judge in New York.  A decision issued Wednesday by Judge Robert Sweet threw out a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit filed against fast food giant...[more]

Review of Walter K. Olson’s The Rule of Lawyers:
How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America’s Rule of Law

A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Litigation Explosion, Walter Olson serves up an eye-opening, jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes look at how the self-anointed “Fourth Branch” has managed to infiltrate every corner of America’s legal and political landscape.  The author paints in lurid detail an incestuous picture of the trial lawyers’ well rehearsed “three prong” strategy comprised of legal, political and public relations efforts, bolstered by open checkbooks, lies, deceit and, dare we say, extortion...[more]

Medical Professional Liability Crisis Bleeds Across America

Get out the tourniquet because the shark bites have America bleeding again.  From Pennsylvania to Florida to Texas, and most states in between, victims of the shark (AKA trial lawyer) attacks are drowning in the Litigation Sea. National headlines make it increasingly apparent that a rise in malpractice lawsuits has caused a swell in professional liability insurance premiums, with the current medical liability crisis driving up health care costs and resulting in less access to care...[more]

Clicked Into Submission?

A decision issued by seven judges sitting half a world away, interpreting another country’s law, may have a greater effect on Internet publishing in the United States than our own First Amendment.  According to a ruling from the High Court of Australia, individuals and media that post material online available in Australia must answer for their electronic speech in the courts “down under.”...[more]

Boo-Hoo, Moo-Moo

Most would agree that cows are by and large pretty happy creatures, slightly less jovial than the common tree squirrel, but seemingly content with their lot in life. They stand.  They lie.  They chew.  They swat.  They get milked.  They get eaten.  ‘Nuff said. Au contraire, say the activists cum circus freaks at PETA...[more]

Rulings Breed Victory for Cheney in Dog-Fight Over Task Force Records

Proving that a watchdog’s bark is often worse than its bite, two federal courts have ruled that Vice President Richard Cheney does not have to turn over private energy task force meeting documents.  At least not yet...[more]

Flying the Unfriendly Skies:
It’s Time for Tort Reform to Take Off

Perhaps running low on new deep-pocket defendants to sue, plaintiffs’ lawyers are reaching to new heights and making the skies an unfriendly place in which to do business.  The latest wave of personal injury lawsuits, titled the “economy class syndrome,” are being brought by long-haul air travelers who claim they have developed life-threatening blood clots after sitting immobile on long flights in economy class...[more]

Empire State Restrictions On Out-Of-State Wine Declared Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Manhattan on November 12 ruled that New York’s laws prohibiting the out-of-state shipment of wine directly to consumers in that state are unconstitutional.  Nevertheless, the judge stopped short of striking down the restrictions, instead choosing to wait and hear arguments on December 5 about remedies to the constitutional problem...[more]

One Electron Too Far?: Trespassing Via the Internet

You get to the office, pour the obligatory cup of coffee, turn on the computer, and the work day begins. Most likely, your first order of business is checking your messages, which in this information age means checking your e-mail. Inevitably, the inbox opens to page after page of new e-mail messages that have piled up overnight, and now your sole goal is to quickly determine how many you can delete in one swift click without ever reading past the subject line. After all, although there might be one or two messages from colleagues at work or friends from college, most of your inbox is full with the Internet equivalent of direct mail advertisements and telephone solicitations...[more]

Much Ado About the 9th Circuit

There has been a lot of hand-wringing in our nation’s capitol lately over the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Fueled by the ongoing backlash to the court’s controversial decision against the Pledge of Allegiance, and the overwhelming reversal rate of 9th Circuit cases by the U.S. Supreme Court, some in Congress are arguing the appeals court is too unwieldy and should be split up...[more]

One Nation, Under Siege by Establishment Clause Revisionism

A nation at war, which continues to mourn its fallen heroes from 9-11, wrapping itself in the collective comfort of a renewed spirit of patriotism, was rudely awakened this morning to news that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional...[more]

Ninth Circuit Issues Lincoln Club Ruling On Independent Expenditure Contributions

A quarter century ago, the Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo held that restrictions on contributions to candidates were subject to lower scrutiny than restrictions on expenditures themselves because such contributions were only "speech by proxy," enabling someone else other than the contributor to speak...[more]

Summer Reading Assignment:
Library Internet Pornography Filtering Case

The recent decision in American Library Association, Inc. v. United States is getting considerable attention because of the sexiness of the issue it addresses — access in public libraries to Internet pornography. The interest will likely still not inspire many to sit down and read the entire decision, which is decidedly unsexy. It is almost 100 pages long and filled with a multitude of technical terminology and legal citations. Don’t let that turn you off. This dissertation, rather opinion, is a must read for every First Amendment enthusiast and cyberspace junkie...[more]

"Annie Get Your Gun"
Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms

In recent weeks, litigation, legislation and news-related events regarding the right to keep and bear arms seem to be exploding nationwide. While gun-control advocates have claimed some minor victories, it is more the gun-rights advocates who are winning in these showdowns...[more]

Chardonnay Crowd Takes on the Empire State

Lawyers for a group of independent wineries recently had their day in a New York courtroom where they uncorked their case to transport direct wine shipment regulations out of the stone age and into the internet age...[more]

Reading Beyond the Headlines:
"Qualified Immunity" Case Disguised as "Hitching Post" Case

We are all guilty of it: merely scanning newspaper headlines and reading the entire article only if the headline grabs our attention. The shortsightedness of that habit, however, recently became more apparent.

On Thursday, April 18, 2002, the New York Times ran an article headlined "U.S. Joins Inmate in Prison Discipline Case — Justices Weigh Liability for Shackling Convict to a Post for 7 Hours." Another Eighth Amendment prisoners’ rights case, right? Wrong!...[more]

Property Rights Update:
Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Tahoe Sierra

The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument on January 7, 2002, in the property rights’ case of Tahoe Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (No. 00-1167). At issue in this case is whether a three-year building moratorium constitutes a temporary taking, requiring just compensation under the Fifth Amendment...[more]

Township Bent on Taking Farmer’s Land

On January 14, New Jersey State Superior Court Judge James Hurley ruled that North Brunswick Township could use eminent domain powers to acquire 104 acres of farmland against the wishes of property owner Edwin Otken...[more]

Controversy Over Race-Based Admission Policies Continues

Lawsuits challenging the use of race-based admission policies by state universities are continuing to move through the court system...[more]

Government as Private Profit Center

With government budgets shrinking and contributions to private organizations shifting, government and private entities are looking for increased opportunities to generate revenue. Some have turned to existing laws and our courts to find these revenue sources...[more]

State v. Oakley: Deadbeat Dads and the Right to Procreate

by Tom Goldstein, esq.: The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent opinion in State v. Oakley, No. 99-3328-CR (Wis. July 20, 2001), presents important and novel questions regarding how far the government may go in imposing a criminal sanction or condition of parole that restricts an individual’s ability to have children...[more]


To subscribe to our e-mail list for periodic updates on important litigation and legislation affecting your individual freedoms, click here.